A strong 500+ crowd assembled in Colchester’s Charter Hall for XWA’s ‘Summer Spectacular’, featuring a number of big names from abroad. The show got started with the XWA Heavyweight Champion, Big Damo, grabbing the microphone and stating that there’s no competition in XWA. He’s held the belt for over 650 days and hasn’t defended it in almost a year, simply because there isn’t anyone worthy of taking him on. That brought out his opponent for the evening, Trent Seven, who was rudely interrupted by the surprise appearance of Sami Callihan. ‘The Callihan Death Machine’ said they’d fought all over the world and tonight he wants to go one-on-one to see who gets to face Damo for the title. Seven agrees and Damo seems pleased he won’t have to defend his title tonight, but Lion Kid makes his way down to the ring and cashes in a title shot he earned by winning a battle royale a few months back, giving us an impromptu title match to start the show.
1. Big Damo (c) vs Lion Kid – XWA Heavyweight Title
The defending champion wasted little time in manhandling his much smaller opponent, throwing him outside of the ring and delivering two big backdrops on the ringside tables, which serve as a barrier between the wrestlers and the front row. Damo was in complete control as he leisurely laid a beating on Lion Kid, getting a close two count after standing on Lion Kid and then dropping down into a huge senton. Lion Kid looked to the crowd for support and fought back well, taking Damo to one knee with a nice enzuigiri before earning a near-fall of his own with a springboard crossbody. Damo clobbered him with a lariat, however, and it looked to be all over, but Lion Kid smartly countered the Ulster Plantation into a crucifix pin for the three count and to become new XWA Heavyweight Champion! This was a fun little title match, the youngsters in the crowd loved seeing Lion Kid get the win.
2. The Quick & The Dead (Lance Lawrence & Voodoo) vs The Congregation (James Castle & Kyle Ashmore)
Solid tag match here, as the mis-matched pairing of masked high flyer Lance Lawrence and heavyweight practitioner of the black arts Voodoo picked up the win over The Congregation of James Castle & Kyle Ashmore. The Quick & The Dead started off at a fast pace, a headscissors from Lawrence sending Ashmore to the floor so Voodoo could hit a suicide dive, followed by a nice Orihara moonsault from Lawrence. It didn’t take long for Castle & Ashmore to take control, however, isolating Lawrence effectively for much of the proceedings. Ashmore was close to winning it after hitting a brutal powerbomb over his knee, but somehow Lawrence kicked out and (after a handspring enzuigiri) made the tag to Voodoo, who floored Ashmore with what looked like a fireman’s carry version of the Shouten Kai, Lawrence then hitting a 450 splash to earn the victory.
3. Rhia O’Reilly (c) vs Nixon Newell vs Kay Lee Ray – Pro Wrestling:EVE Championship
This one took a while to get going, as the wrestlers took a while to figure out how to properly lock-up with three people, but was fun enough while it lasted. Nixon teased her Welsh Destroyer on a few occasions, but couldn’t connect and in the end Rhia O’Reilly retained her championship with the Rhia-justment double-underhook DDT. I’m not hugely fond of three-way matches, this one ended rather abruptly and could have done with more time.
4. Danny Blaze (c) vs Doug Williams – XWA Frontier Sports Champion
To close out the first half of the show, Danny Blaze defended his XWA Frontier Sports Championship against one of the legends of British wrestling, Doug Williams. The veteran showed little respect for his younger opponent, however, and clearly had his sights set on adding another title to his resume. The match never really got going, unfortunately. Blaze went up top for a moonsault, but Williams knocked him down and he crashed to the mat head-first. Blaze wasn’t moving for a long while, then Doug hauled him up and locked in a guillotine choke to force him to tap away his title. Williams celebrated, then got on the mic and complaining about Blaze “stealing my spotlight” by pretending to be injured, aiming a number of kicks at the back of his head for good measure.
5. ‘Savvy’ Sid Scala vs Vader
The second half of the show kicked off with ‘Savvy’ Sid Scala taking on the man they call Vader. Sid had been forced into this match against his will after selling knock-off Vader merchandise without Vader’s permission, but had brought his personal trainer Adam ‘Flex’ Maxted (who I’m led to believe is a reality TV star, of some sort) along to even the odds. It ultimately proved futile as, without much preamble Vader took what little Sid could throw at him, before hitting a pair of huge lariats, a choke slam and an elbow drop for the three count. Sid did a great job promoting this match beforehand with his videos and twitter banter and, although the match itself wasn’t much, Scala made it work and is a real entertaining character.
6. Trent Seven vs Sami Callihan
This match really stood out from the pack, two guys who have had some great matches in the past delivering another hard-hitting bout. Callihan wasn’t above using cheap tactics here, as he did everything he could to keep control of the match, mocking Trent all the while and the crowd for supporting him. Few in the crowd seemed familiar with Seven in the outset, but by the end everyone was cheering him on and booing the increasingly-offensive Sami Callihan. As the match wore on both guys took some hard shots on the floor and also each accidentally chopped the ringpost. Callihan took control of the match and delivered a series of big moves to Seven, but Trent refused to do as he was told and stay down for the count. Sami looked to finishing things off, but Trent countered into a brutal jumping piledriver and followed up with a second to get the victory out of nowhere! Really enjoyable match here, the highlight of the show and a great introduction to Trent Seven for many of those in attendance.
7. Tom Dawkins vs PJ Black
Main event time rolled around, with Chris Hero unfortunately unable to compete as he’d injured his knee. He apologised to the crowd and to his opponent, Tom Dawkins, who was visibly angry and said that he was promised an import to fight. Hero said that, if he was so eager to fight an import, there was a guy in the back who fit the bill, which brought out ‘The Darewolf’ PJ Black! This was a good main event to send the fans home happy. I’ve been impressed with Dawkins from what I’ve seen of him on tape, but in person his martial arts kicks really look and sound that much more impactful. The more experienced Black had the best of the early going, but Dawkins got the knees up on a lionsault attempt and went to work on Black’s injured ribs. His cohorts in The Congregation, James Castle & Kyle Ashmore, interfered when Black started to make a comeback, but Hero came down to the ring and dragged them to the back. A distracted Dawkins got caught with a big spin kick from PJ, followed by the lionsault and a 450 splash for the win. Overall this was a good time, a fun family show that provided a number of good matches and was never less than entertaining. Trent Seven vs Sami Callihan was the easy match of the night, for my money, but the main event of PJ Black vs Tom Dawkins was good as well and I enjoyed Savvy Sid’s questionable attempts to take on Vader.